From big screen to small: is tv the cool kid now?

Once upon a time, movie A-listers wouldn’t have been caught dead on the small screen… but times are a-changing.
In recent years, we’ve seen the likes of Claire Danes head to Homeland, Steve Carrell embody the monstrous Michael Scott in the US version of The Office, and Matthew McConaughey to enjoy swags of nominations and awards for True Detective. But more recently, there’s a new wave of big stars absolutely killing it on the small screen. Here are just a handful:

Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman 
On the telly in
Big Little Lies
Both darlings of the big screen, Nic and Reese take on seriously heavy drama in this adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s novel about a group of suburban mums all hiding a secret or two. Nicole has us on tenterhooks as the battered wife who finally cracks under the pressure of her violent marriage – and Reese as the troubled ‘power mum’. Season 2 is in the works and we’re on board anytime it gets the green light.


Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright
On the telly in
House of Cards
Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright raise hell, as the conniving, cut-throat White House power couple Francis and Claire Underwood. Now up to Season 5, House of Cards is as bonkers and Machiavellian as ever – especially as Francis is forced to watch his wife, softly-spoken ice queen Claire, take his seat in the Oval Office. But it’s not just the A-listers that’ll hook you; the show’s scary parallels with the Trump administration will, too.


Diane Keaton and Jude Law
On the telly in
The Young Pope
Although they’ve been predominantly big screen stars for decades, Diane Keaton and Jude Law’s roles in the playfully provocative SBS series The Young Pope have been well received, with one critic saying it has ‘all the makings of a cult hit’. Watch it for Law’s turn as the young, radical, newly-ordained pope, and Keaton’s as the aging nun who cared for him when he was abandoned as a small boy – and is now his key advisor. Interesting stuff.


John Travolta
On the telly in
The People v. O.J. Simpson
Like many movie stars, Travolta kicked off his career on the small screen playing school teacher Vinnie Barbarino in 1970s TV series Welcome Back Kotter. The Pulp Fiction star has proved he’s all about the big screen ever since – or is he? Travolta’s return to TV to play defence attorney Robert Shapiro in The People v. OJ Simpson received mixed reviews – with critics calling him both ‘revelatory’ and ‘polarising’. Could this mean more TV roles for the star? We sure hope so.


Anthony Hopkins
On the telly in
This remake of a 1973 film is set in a futuristic, Wild West-style amusement park for high-paying holiday-makers – where basically anything goes. The show’s many mysteries are captivating, but the casting proves yet again how TV is setting a new benchmark – particularly with the spectacular Anthony Hopkins as mad genius Dr. Robert Ford. Evan Rachel Wood, better known for movie roles such as Thirteen, is also great in this TV sci-fi.


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